State Senate District 26 is comprised of Lower Manhattan, Governor’s Island and parts of north and west Brooklyn, and home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Visitors can enjoy the newly-constructed Oculus, the Wall Street Bull and its neighbor Fearless Girl, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and much more as it serves diverse excursionists. While this area is a hub for travelers exploring the city, it’s also a significant residential district, filled with families that frequent small businesses keeping these neighborhoods afloat. The area’s waterfront is one of its assets, but also poses as the center of several of these communities present issues. What are the biggest problems facing District 26 today?
Issue #1: Resiliency
Every year, thousands flock to the waterfront to find solace in the peaceful views, but after the destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy, which incapacitated subway infrastructure and left homes and businesses uninhabitable, many fear the next environmental event that could have even more devastating consequences. Protecting the resiliency of New York’s coastal areas is a priority as the threat of climate change continues to grow, and citizens want to be prepared and know they will be safe if crisis hits.
Issue #2: Affordable Housing
Such an appealing neighborhood with productive businesses, historic attractions and gorgeous views has drawn real estate developers to build heavily in this area, which— in addition to rezoning— has driven up residential and commercial rents drastically. Mom and pop shops struggle to stay afloat, and renters are being driven out by prices they can’t afford. Unscrupulous landlords are also taking advantage of the real estate boon to exploit longtime dwellers to leave rent stabilized housing in order to charge newcomers more. Preserving affordable housing is a priority across the city, as vibrant culture and diverse populations are slowly eroded as communities are displaced in favor of chain stores and high rises. A New York that the everyday person can’t afford is a hollow New York.
Issue #3: Overpopulation
With the community’s popularity, it has become the fastest growing residential district since September 11th, 2001, but the influx of new occupants— especially families— has created a strain on resources, leaving overcrowded schools, limited recreational outlets, inconsistent sanitation services, traffic congestion and fewer affordable grocery stores. Citizens are rallying for an increase in services that match the increase in populace, as in time, the strain could lead to neighborhood deterioration.
This constituency demands leadership that will open the lines of communication and listen to their concerns. Will the State Senate District 26 representative address the growing needs of this community? Learn more about Democratic candidate Brian Kavanaugh and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.